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Heartbroken Swiss say goodbye to Euro

12 June 2008

GENEVA – "We are out" and "Goodbye to Euro 2008" shouted the headlines in the Swiss newspapers Thursday after the host team’s heartbreaking exit from Euro 2008 after just four days into the tournament.

"Last Minute Goal: Switzerland ruled out" said the Basler Zeitung, the daily newspaper in the city where the squad suffered a 2:0 defeat at the hands of Turkey.

Among the 40,000 supporters at St Jakob Stadium was Federal Sports Minister Samuel Schmid who reminded fans Euro 2008 is not finished for Switzerland.

"It was disappointing and we deserved a better result but at the end of the day it’s goals that count. You have to score or you can’t win.

"But Euro hasn’t ended, we continue with the last game and I am sure we will see plenty of interesting matches," the minister told Swiss radio.

After a promising start with a goal in the 32nd minute in conditions made difficult by the waterlogged pitch, the Swiss were blamed with a number of tactical errors and missed chances that led to their ultimate disappointment.

Fans talked of a team that was "tired".

Captain Ludovic Magnin readily admitted afterwards mistakes were made. He said the team had still played well and fought hard but "we created some good chances but didn’t score".

It was a disappointing end too to the career of Swiss coach Koebi Kuhn who now takes retirement.

An estimated 75,000 fans gathered in Basle for the game including 35,000 in the Fan Zones, less than the 42,000 seen Saturday for the opening match, but no doubt diminished by the pouring rain during the first half of the game.

The authorities estimated 10,000 Turks had travelled from Germany and another 1,000 directly from Turkey.

More than 50,000 fans were thought to have watched the Portugal and Czech Republic match in Geneva, up to 20,000 of them in the fan zones.

Organisers put estimates for the tournament so far at around 850,000 spectators using the fan zones in the eight venue cities in the four days of the tournament in Austria and Switzerland.

[dpa / Expatica]